You’ve walked down the aisle and you’re home from the honeymoon. As you settle into married life, there’s one important task to be performed that you may not have considered before your wedding day. Couples should not overlook the significance of tending to their financial futures. One of the first steps is merging and managing bank accounts.
A study from Kansas City University found the number one cause of divorce in the United States is fighting over money and other financial problems. Therefore, being on the same page concerning finances and maintaining financial transparency can help reduce the propensity to clash over cash.
Merging bank accounts can be a good idea for newlyweds for various reasons.
- Improved efficiency: Having one account makes it easier to track income and spending and can make keeping track of money less complicated. Also, having only one bank means cutting down on statements or correspondence from multiple institutions.
- Greater communication: Some people are natural spenders and others savers. It’s easy to gloss over financial indiscretions when there are separate accounts. A joint account makes it easy to talk about spending habits and the flow of money in and out of an account.
- Creates accountability: Not being able to hide debt or large expenditures or withdrawals makes couples accountable to each other. This creates transparency in a relationship and may help couples become closer as a result.
- Good in emergencies: According to the financial resource Money Under 30, having a joint bank account can ensure that a surviving spouse has uninterrupted access to funds in the event his or her partner dies. This may not be the case with individual bank accounts until the estate goes through probate.
- Get better banking: Certain financial institutions may offer perks like no fees if customers maintain a specific balance or meet the criteria of debit card usage per month. Such requirements may be more easily reached with two people utilizing the account.
- Combine with ease: Financial expert Dave Ramsay says it’s particularly easy to merge when individuals already were using the same bank or credit union. Simply showing up with identification and transferring the balance of one account into the other and adding a signer is all that’s needed. In instances where couples use different banks, select a convenient institution and open up a new account together after closing the individual ones.
Joint accounts are a smart choice for married couples.